Of all of the artists closely associated with the Impressionist movement, Camille Pissarro may be the most difficult to come to terms with. It’s not that his imagery is in any way less appealing than that of his well-loved colleagues or that his preoccupations differ substantially from theirs. Quite the contrary. Pissarro’s paintings frequently exemplify everything Impressionism aspired to. His luminous images of the Place du Théâtre-Français, for example, thronged with carriages and pedestrians, are textbook examples of everything we’ve ever learned about the Impressionists’ desire to embody the life of their times and to capture the visual characteristics of the moment—in this instance, the city of Paris, recently transformed by Haussmann’s creation of the boulevards, in the damp, hazy light of the Ile de France. With their divided color, broken stroke, and close-valued hues, Pissarro’s...

 
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